Parenting Support and Venture Investing

By Chris Russell

As a child and especially as a teenager, I remember times when my parents would put forth persistent effort in the attempt to help me correct less than stellar conduct, and in general, develop into a respectable human being. Despite their diligent attempts to influence my behavior; in specific instances, little to no change occurred. […]

Startups and the NBA Draft

By Chris Russell

This time of year, basketball is on my mind more than usual as it’s playoff time in the NBA. I thought it made for a good excuse to merge two of my favorite topics, NBA basketball, and startup investing. Long before the playoffs, and before the regular season even starts, the NBA holds a draft […]

Spring Cleaning

By Chris Russell

Several years back, I read about Novell CEO, Ray Noorda’s approach to employee “spring cleaning.” He would say “It’s spring cleaning, whether we need it or not.” Every spring, Novell would lay off 15 percent of their employee base regardless of financial circumstances. I remember thinking this type of approach was too draconian to be […]

Pitch Presence

By Chris Russell

While searching for suggestions on how to improve the pitch of your business ideas, you’ll find countless numbers of articles and books on the subject. The vast majority focus on what I consider the technical mechanics of a good pitch: the order of your slide deck, the number of slides, preparing for difficult questions and […]

Financial budget, forecast and projections for your startup

By Chris Russell

The terms financial budget, financial forecast and even financial projections are sometimes used interchangeably but have very different functions. They can seem overwhelming to startup founders, but their use is critical, especially in the context of cash management and fundraising. My goal with this post is to help you better understand each and offer suggestions […]

The missed side of due diligence

By Chris Russell

You’re about to accept funding from an outside investor. All of your interactions with this individual or group have been very positive. You feel on the same page in terms of how you should be advancing the business. Their experience and connections appear to be complimentary for your goals. The terms offered seem fair to […]

Interview with Portfolio Company – Beckett & Robb

By Chris Russell

Beckett & Robb has been a GSD Capital portfolio company since 2012. I recently chatted with Jason Yeats, Co-Founder of Beckett & Robb to discuss fundraising and startups. I wanted to share some of his thoughts as well as his experience working with our team. First, a little bit about his company. Beckett & Robb […]

The Most Expensive Money You’ll Ever Raise

By Chris Russell

The most expensive money you’ll ever raise will be the first round of equity financing. The reason is simple: the valuation of your business will be at its lowest. To illustrate my point I’ll use an example. John and his co-founder Ryan have built a SaaS business using personal savings. They shipped the initial release […]

Clayton Christensen’s Outlook on RBF’s Disruptive Capabilities

By Chris Russell

Renowned author and Harvard Business School professor, Clayton Christensen, recently sat down with Mark Suster for an interview at Startup Grind 2013. Around 19 minutes into the interview Suster brings up the topic of disruption of Venture Capital. Christensen mentions a form of investing which he believes will be “disruptive”. It is significant to understand […]

Shark Tank Almost Has It Right

By Chris Russell

I’m sure most readers are familiar with ABC’s reality show, Shark Tank. The show presents entrepreneurs to a panel of potential investors (or “Sharks”). The pitch is made, the financial need established, and then the Sharks are given the chance to critique and discuss the opportunity, some more gently than others (after all, it has […]

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